Mariska Hargitay Says Law and Order: SVU Feels Like “a Different Show”

Mariska Hargitay talks to Matt Lauer on the Today show
Mariska Hargitay says Law and Order: SVU feels like "a different show now" with new showrunners. Peter Kramer/NBC

After 15 seasons, Law & Order: SVU continues to surprise viewers — and its stars. During an interview on the TODAY show Wednesday, Jan. 8, Mariska Hargitay told anchor Matt Lauer that the show feels completely new to her.

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"I think it's been a journey," the 49-year-old actress explained. "I think the writing changes now that we have new showrunners. It feels to me like a different show now, which I think is a great thing. After 15 years the show feels so unbelievably fresh, and that's a gift."

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In the Jan. 8 winter premiere of SVU, Hargitay's character, Det. Olivia Benson, must relive a violent kidnapping as a case against her attacker goes to trial.

"This episode was traumatizing for me just to shoot it, and I deal with these issues every day," Hargitay revealed. "It's about Olivia being a victim that she continually takes care of, so the tables are turned."

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Will the trial bring closure to her character?

"I wish there was. It's not that simple, I think," Hargitay told Lauer. "What she went through I don't know that she can recover from. It has changed her. She's still fighting PTSD. Once she thought she got him, he got in there again in a deep and very painful way."

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